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WilliamBarclay'sDailyStudy

Bible

John5

Verses1­47

Chapter5

MAN'SHELPLESSNESSANDCHRIST'SPOWER(John5:1­9)

5:1­9AfterthistherewasaFeastoftheJews,andJesuswent

uptoJerusalem.InJerusalem,nearthesheepgate,thereisa

bathing­poolwithfiveporches,whichwascalledinHebrew,

Bethzatha.Intheseporchestherelayacrowdofpeoplewho

wereillandblindandlameandwhoselimbswerewithered

[waitingexpectantlyforthemovingofthewater.Foranangelof

theLordcamedownintothepooleverynowandthenand

disturbedthewater;sothefirstpersontogoinafterthe

disturbingofthewaterregainedhishealthfromanyillness

whichhadhiminitsgrip].Therewasamantherewhohadbeen

illforthirty­eightyears.WhenJesussawhimlyingthere,and

sinceheknewthathehadalreadybeenthereforalongtime,he

saidtohim:"Doyouwanttobemadewell?"Thesickman

answered:"Sir,Ihavenoonetohurrymeintothepoolwhenthe

waterisdisturbed;so,whileIamontheway,someonegets

downbeforeme."Jesussaidtohim:"Getup!Liftyourbed!and

walk!"Andthemanwasmadewell,andhelifteduphisbedand

walked.

TherewerethreeJewishfeastswhichwerefeastsofobligation­­Passover,Pentecost andTabernacles.EveryadultmaleJewwholivedwithinfifteenmilesofJerusalem

waslegallyboundtoattendthem.IfwetakeJohn6:1­71beforeJohn5:1­47wemay

thinkofthisfeastasPentecost,becausetheeventsofJohn6:1­71happenedwhen

thePassoverwasnear(John6:4).ThePassoverwasinmid­April,andPentecost

wassevenweekslater.JohnalwaysshowsusJesusattendingthegreatfeasts,for

JesusdidnotdisregardtheobligationsofJewishworship.Tohimitwasnotaduty

butadelighttoworshipwithhisownpeople.

WhenJesusarrivedinJerusalemhewasapparentlyalone;thereisnomentionofhis disciples.Hefoundhiswaytoafamouspool.ItsnamewaseitherBethesda,which meansHouseofMercy,ormorelikely,BethzathawhichmeansHouseoftheOlive. Thebettermanuscriptsallhavethesecondname,andweknowfromJosephusthat therewasaquarterofJerusalemactuallyknownasBethzatha.Thewordforpool

kolumbethron(Greek#2861),whichcomesfromtheverbkolumban(Greek#2860),

todive.Thepoolwasdeepenoughtoswimin.Thepassagewehaveputinbrackets

isnotinanyofthegreatestandbestmanuscriptsandwasprobablyaddedlateras

anexplanationofwhatpeopleweredoingatthepool.Beneaththepoolwasa

subterraneanstreamwhicheverynowandagainbubbledupanddisturbedthe

waters.Thebeliefwasthatthedisturbancewascausedbyanangel,andthatthe

firstpersontogetintothepoolafterthetroublingofthewaterwouldbehealedfrom

anyillnessfromwhichhewassuffering.

Tousthisismeresuperstition.Butitwasthekindofbeliefwhichwasspreadall

overtheworldinancientdaysandwhichstillexistsincertainplaces.People

believedinallkindsofspiritsanddemons.Theairwasthickwiththem;theyhad

theirabodesincertainplaces;everytree,everyriver,everystream,everyhill,every

poolhaditsresidentspirit.

Further,ancientpeopleswerespeciallyimpressedwiththeholinessofwaterand

especiallyofriversandsprings.Waterwassopreciousandriversinspatecouldbe

sopowerfulthatitisnotsurprisingthattheyweresoimpressed.Inthewestwemay

knowwateronlyassomethingwhichcomesoutofatap;butintheancientworld,as

inmanyplacesstilltoday,waterwasthemostvaluableandpotentiallythemost

dangerousofallthings.

SirJ.G.FrazerinFolk­loreintheOldTestament(ii,412­423)quotesmany

instancesofthisreverenceforwater.Hesiod,theGreekpoet,saidthatwhenaman

wasabouttofordariver,heshouldprayandwashhishands,forhewhowades

throughastreamwithunwashedhandsincursthewrathofthegods.Whenthe

PersiankingXerxescametotheStrymoninThracehismagiciansofferedwhite

horsesandwentthroughotherceremoniesbeforethearmyventuredtocross.

Lucullus,theRomangeneral,offeredabulltotheRiverEuphratesbeforehecrossed

it.Tothisdayinsouth­eastAfricasomeoftheBantutribesbelievethatriversare

inhabitedbymalignantspiritswhichmustbepropitiatedbyflingingahandfulofcorn

orsomeotherofferingintotheriverbeforeitiscrossed.Whenanyoneisdrownedin

ariverheissaidtobe"calledbythespirits."TheBagandainCentralAfricawould

nottrytorescueamancarriedawaybyariverbecausetheythoughtthatthespirits

hadtakenhim.ThepeoplewhowaitedforthepoolinJerusalemtobedisturbedwere

childrenoftheiragebelievingthethingsoftheirage.

ItmaybethatasJesuswalkedaround,themanofthisstorywaspointedouttohim

asamostpitiablecase,becausehisdisabilitymadeitveryunlikely,even

impossible,thathewouldeverbethefirsttogetintothepoolafterithadbeen

troubled.Hehadnoonetohelphimin,andJesuswasalwaysthefriendofthe

friendless,andthehelperofthemanwhohasnoearthlyhelp.Hedidnottroubleto

readthemanalectureontheuselesssuperstitionofwaitingforthewatertobe

moved.Hisonedesirewastohelpandsohehealedthemanwhohadwaitedso

long.

InthisstoryweseeveryclearlytheconditionsunderwhichthepowerofJesus

operated.Hegavehisorderstomenand,inproportionastheytriedtoobey,power

cametothem.

(i)Jesusbeganbyaskingthemanifhewantedtobecured.Itwasnotsofoolisha

questionasitmaysound.Themanhadwaitedforthirty­eightyearsanditmightwell

havebeenthathopehaddiedandleftbehindapassiveanddulldespair.Inhisheart

ofheartsthemanmightbewellcontenttoremainaninvalidfor,ifhewascured,he

wouldhavetoshoulderalltheburdenofmakingaliving.Thereareinvalidsforwhom

invalidismisnotunpleasant,becausesomeoneelsedoesalltheworkingandallthe

worrying.Butthisman'sresponsewasimmediate.Hewantedtobehealed,though

hedidnotseehowheevercouldbesincehehadnoonetohelphim.

ThefirstessentialtowardsreceivingthepowerofJesusistohaveintensedesirefor

it.Jesussays:"Doyoureallywanttobechanged?"Ifinourinmostheartsweare

wellcontenttostayasweare,therecanbenochangeforus.

(ii)Jesuswentontotellthemantogetup.Itisasifhesaidtohim:"Man,bendyour

willtoitandyouandIwilldothisthingtogether!"ThepowerofGodneverdispenses

withtheeffortofman.Nothingistruerthanthatwemustrealizeourown

helplessness;butinaveryrealsenseitistruethatmiracleshappenwhenourwill

andGod'spowercooperatetomakethempossible.

(iii)IneffectJesuswascommandingthemantoattempttheimpossible."Getup!" hesaid.Hisbedwouldsimplybealightstretcher­likeframe­­theGreekiskrabbatos

(Greek#2895),acolloquialwordwhichreallymeansapallet­­andJesustoldhimto

pickitupandcarryitaway.Themanmightwellhavesaidwithakindofinjured

resentmentthatforthirty­eightyearshisbedhadbeencarryinghimandtherewas

notmuchsenseintellinghimtocarryit.ButhemadetheeffortalongwithChrist­­

andthethingwasdone.

(iv)Hereistheroadtoachievement.Therearesomanythingsinthisworldwhich

defeatus.Whenwehaveintensityofdesireanddeterminationtomaketheeffort,

hopelessthoughitmayseem,thepowerofChristgetsitsopportunity,andwithhim

wecanconquerwhatforlonghasconqueredus.

THEINNERMEANING(John5:1­9continued)

Certainscholarsthinkthispassageisanallegory.

ThemanstandsforthepeopleofIsrael.Thefiveporchesstandforthefivebooksof

thelaw.Intheporchesthepeoplelayill.Thelawcouldshowamanhissin,but

couldnevermendit;thelawcoulduncoveraman'sweakness,butcouldnevercure

it.Thelaw,liketheporches,shelteredthesicksoulbutcouldneverhealit.The

thirty­eightyearsstandforthethirty­eightyearsinwhichtheJewswanderedinthe

desertbeforetheyenteredthepromisedland;orforthenumberofthecenturiesmen

hadbeenwaitingfortheMessiah.Thestirringofthewatersstandsforbaptism.In

pointoffactinearlyChristianartamanisoftendepictedasrisingfromthe

baptismalwaterscarryingabeduponhisback.

Itmaywellbethatitisnowpossibletoreadallthesemeaningsintothisstory;butit

ishighlyunlikelythatJohnwroteitasanallegory.Ithasthevividstampoffactual

truth.ButwedowelltorememberthatanyBiblestoryhasinitfarmorethanfact.

Therearealwaysdeepertruthsbelowthesurfaceandeventhesimplestoriesare

meanttoleaveusfacetofacewitheternalthings.

HEALINGANDHATRED(John5:10­18)

5:10­18ItwasSabbathonthatday.SotheJewssaidtothe

manwhohadbeencured:"ItisSabbathandyouhavenoright

toliftyourbed."Heansweredthem:"Hewhomademewell,it

washewhosaidtome:'Liftyourbedandwalk'!"Theyasked

him:"Whoisthefellowwhosaidtoyou:'Liftyourbedand

walk'?"Themanwhohadbeencureddidnotknowwhohewas,

forJesushadslippedaway,fortherewasacrowdintheplace.

AfterwardsJesusfoundhimintheTempleandsaidtohim:

"Looknow!Youhavebeenmadewell.Sinnomoreincase

somethingworsehappenstoyou!"Themanwentawayandtold

theJewsthatitwasJesuswhohadmadehimwell.Becauseof

thistheJewswereouttopersecuteJesus,becausehehad

donethesethingsontheSabbath.ButJesusansweredthem:

"MyFathercontinueshisworkuntilnow,andsodoIcontinue

mine."BecauseofthistheJewstriedallthehardertofinda

waytokillhim,becausenotonlywashehabituallybreakingthe

Sabbath,buthealsokeptonsayingthatGodwashisown

Father,therebymakinghimselfequalwithGod.

Amanhadbeenhealedfromadiseasewhich,humanlyspeaking,wasincurable.We

mightexpectthistobeanoccasionofuniversaljoyandthanksgiving;butsomemet

thewholebusinesswithbleakandblacklooks.Themanwhohadbeenhealedwas

walkingthroughthestreetscarryinghisbed;theorthodoxJewsstoppedhimand

remindedhimthathewasbreakingthelawbycarryingaburdenontheSabbathday.

WehavealreadyseenwhattheJewsdidwiththelawofGod.Itwasaseriesofgreat

wideprincipleswhichmenwerelefttoapplyandcarryoutbutthroughouttheyears

theJewshadmadeitintothousandsoflittlerulesandregulations.Thelawsimply

saidthattheSabbathdaymustbedifferentfromotherdaysandthatonitneithera

mannorhisservantsnorhisanimalsmustwork;theJewssetoutthirty­nine

differentclassificationsofwork,oneofwhichwasthatitconsistedincarryinga

burden.

Theyfoundedparticularlyontwopassages.Jeremiahhadsaid:"ThussaiththeLord:

takeheedforthesakeofyourlives,anddonotbearaburdenontheSabbathdayor bringitinbythegatesofJerusalem.Anddonotcarryaburdenoutofyourhouses ontheSabbathordoanywork,butkeeptheSabbathdayholy,asIcommanded

yourfathers"(Jeremiah17:19­27).Nehemiahhadbeenworriedattheworkandthe

tradingthatwentonontheSabbathdayandhadstationedservantsatthegatesof

JerusalemtoseethatnoburdenswerecarriedinoroutontheSabbath(Nehemiah

13:15­19).

Nehemiah13:15makesitperfectlyclearthatwhatwasinquestionwastradingon

theSabbathasifithadbeenanordinaryday.ButtheRabbisofJesus'daysolemnly

arguedthatamanwassinningifhecarriedaneedleinhisrobeontheSabbath.

Theyevenarguedastowhetherhecouldwearhisartificialteethorhiswoodenleg.

TheywerequiteclearthatanykindofbroachcouldnotbewornontheSabbath.To

themallthispettydetailwasamatteroflifeanddeath­­andcertainlythismanwas

breakingtherabbiniclawbycarryinghisbedontheSabbathday.

Hisdefencewasthatthemanwhohadhealedhimhadtoldhimtodoit,buthedid

notknowhisidentity.LaterJesusmethimintheTemple;atoncethemanhastened

totelltheauthoritiesthatJesuswastheoneinquestion.Hewasnotseekingtoget

Jesusintotrouble,buttheactualwordsofthelawwere:"Ifanyonecarriesanything

fromapublicplacetoaprivatehouseontheSabbathintentionallyheispunishable

bydeathbystoning."Hewassimplytryingtoexplainthatitwasnothisfaultthathe

hadbrokenthelaw.

SotheauthoritieslevelledtheiraccusationsagainstJesus.TheverbsinJohn5:18

areimperfecttense,whichdescribesrepeatedactioninpasttime.Clearlythisstory

isonlyasampleofwhatJesushabituallydid.

Hisdefencewasshattering.GoddidnotstopworkingontheSabbathdayand

neitherdidhe.AnyscholarlyJewwouldgraspitsfullforce.Philohadsaid:"God

neverceasesdoing,butasitisthepropertyoffiretoburnandsnowtochill,soitis

thepropertyofGodtodo."Anotherwritersaid:"Thesunshines;theriversflow;the

processesofbirthanddeathgoonontheSabbathasonanyotherday;andthatis

theworkofGod."True,accordingtothecreationstory,Godrestedontheseventh

day;butherestedfromcreation;hishigherworksofjudgmentandmercyand

compassionandlovestillwenton.

Jesussaid:"EvenontheSabbathGod'sloveandmercyandcompassionact;and

sodomine."ItwasthislastpassagewhichshatteredtheJews,foritmeantnothing

lessthanthattheworkofJesusandtheworkofGodwerethesame.Itseemedthat

JesuswasputtinghimselfonanequalitywithGod.WhatJesusreallywassayingwe

shallseeinournextsection;butatthemomentwemustnotethis­­Jesusteaches

thathumanneedmustalwaysbehelped;thatthereisnogreatertaskthantorelieve

someone'spainanddistressandthattheChristian'scompassionmustbelikeGod's­

­unceasing.Otherworkmaybelaidasidebuttheworkofcompassionnever.

AnotherJewishbeliefentersintothispassage.WhenJesusmetthemaninthe Templehetoldhimtosinnomoreincasesomethingworsemighthappentohim.To theJewsinandsufferingwereinextricablyconnected.Ifamansuffered,necessarily hehadsinned;norcouldheeverbecureduntilhissinwasforgiven.TheRabbis said:"Thesickarisesnotfromsickness,untilhissinsbeforgiven."Themanmight arguethathehadsinnedandbeenforgivenandhad,sotospeak,gotawaywithit; andhemightgoontoarguethat,sincehehadfoundsomeonewhocouldrelease himfromtheconsequencesofsin,hecouldverywellgoonsinningandescaping. Therewerethoseinthechurchwhousedtheirlibertyasanexcusefortheflesh

(Galatians5:13).Therewerethosewhosinnedintheconfidencethatgracewould

abound(Romans6:1­18).Therehavealwaysbeenthosewhohaveusedtheloveand

theforgivenessandthegraceofGodasanexcusetosin.Butwehaveonlytothink

whatGod'sforgivenesscost,wehaveonlytolookattheCrossofCalvary,toknow

thatwemusteverhatesinbecauseeverysinbreaksagaintheheartofGod.

THETREMENDOUSCLAIMS(John5:19­29)

5:19­29ThisisthetruthItellyou­­theSoncannotdoanything

whichproceedsfromhimself.Hecanonlydowhatheseesthe

Fatherdoing.InwhateverwaytheFatheracts,theSonlikewise

actsinthesameway;fortheFatherlovesthesonandhas

shownhimeverythingthathedoes.Andhewillshowhim

greaterworksthanthese,sothatyouwillbemovedto

wonderingamazement.For,astheFatherraisesthedeadand

makesthemalive,soalsotheSonmakesalivethosewhomhe

wishes.NeitherdoestheFatherjudgeanyone,buthehasgiven

thewholeprocessofjudgingtotheSon,thatallmayhonourthe

Son,astheyhonourtheFather.Hewhodoesnothonourthe

SondoesnothonourtheFatherwhosenthim.

ThisisthetruthItellyou­­hewholistenstomywordand

believesonhimwhosentmehaseternallife,andisnotonthe

waytojudgment,buthehascrossedfromdeathtolife.

ThisisthetruthItellyou­­thehouriscomingandnowiswhen

thedeadwillhearthevoiceoftheSonofGod,and,whenthey

haveheard,theywilllive.For,astheFatherhaslifeinhimself,

sohehasgiventotheSontohavelifeinhimself;andhehas

givenhimauthoritytoexercisetheprocessofjudgment,

becauseheistheSonofMan.Donotbeastonishedatthis,for

thehouriscomingwheneveryoneinthetombswillhearhis

voice,andwillcomeforth;thosewhohavedonegoodwillcome

outtoaresurrectionwhichwillgivethemlife,butthosewhose

actionswerebasewillcomeouttoaresurrectionwhichwill

issueinjudgment.

HerewecometothefirstofthelongdiscoursesoftheFourthGospel.Whenweread passageslikethiswemustrememberthatJohnisnotseekingsomuchtogiveus thewordsthatJesusspokeasthethingswhichJesusmeant.Hewaswriting

somewhereroundaboutA.D.100.ForseventyyearshehadthoughtaboutJesus

andthewonderfulthingswhichJesushadsaid.Manyofthesethingshehadnotfully

understoodwhenhehadheardthem.Butmorethanhalfacenturyofthinkingunder

theguidanceoftheHolySpirithadshownhimdeeperanddeepermeaninginthe

wordsofJesus.AndsohesetsdownforusnotonlywhatJesussaid,butalsowhat

Jesusmeant.

Thispassageissoimportantthatwemustfirststudyitasawholeandthentakeit

inshortersections.

First,thenletuslookatitasawhole.Wemusttrytothinknotonlyhowitsoundsto

us,butalsohowitsoundedtotheJewswhohearditforthefirsttime.Theyhada

backgroundofthoughtsandideas,oftheologyandbelief,ofliteratureandreligion

whichisveryfarfromourbackground;and,tounderstandapassagelikethis,we

musttrytothinkourselvesintothemindofaJewwholistenedtoitforthefirsttime.

Thisisanamazingpassage,becauseitiswoventogetherofthoughtsand

expressionswhichareallclaimsbyJesustobethepromisedMessiah.Manyof

theseclaimswedonotnowreadilysee,buttheywouldbecrystalcleartotheJews

andwouldleavethemaghast.

(i)TheclearestclaimisthestatementthatJesusistheSonofMan.Weknowhow commonthatstrangetitleisinthegospels.Ithasalonghistory.Itwasbornin

Daniel7:1­14.TheKingJamesVersionmistranslatestheSonofManforasonof

man(Daniel7:13).

Thepointofthepassageisthis.Danielwaswrittenindaysofterrorandof persecution,anditisavisionoftheglorywhichwillsomedayreplacethesuffering

whichthepeopleareundergoing.InDaniel7:1­7theseerdescribesthegreat

heathenempireswhichhaveheldswayunderthesymbolismofbeasts.Thereisthe

lionwitheagle'swings(Daniel7:4),whichstandsfortheBabylonianEmpire;thebear

withthethreeribsinhismouth,asonedevouringthecarcase(Daniel7:5),which

standsfortheMedianEmpire;theleopardwithfourwingsandfourheads(Daniel

7:6),whichstandsforthePersianEmpire;thebeast,greatandterrible,withiron

teethandwithtenhorns(Daniel7:7),whichstandsfortheMacedonianEmpire.All

theseterriblepowerswillpassawayandthepowerandthedominionwillbegivento

onelikeasonofman.ThemeaningisthattheEmpireswhichhaveheldswayhave

beensosavagethattheycouldbedescribedonlyintermsofwildbeasts;butinto

theworldthereisgoingtocomeapowersogentleandkindthatitwillbehumanand

notbestial.InDanielthephrasedescribesthekindofpowerwhichisgoingtorule

theworld.

Someonehastointroduceandexercisethatpower;andtheJewstookthistitleand

gaveittothechosenoneofGodwhosomedaywouldbringinthenewageof

gentlenessandloveandpeace;andsotheycametocalltheMessiahSonofMan.

BetweentheOldandtheNewTestamentstherearoseawholeliteraturewhichdealt

withthegoldenagewhichwastocome.

OnebookwhichwasspeciallyinfluentialwastheBookofEnochandinitthere

appearsagainandagainagreatfigurecalledThatSonofMan,whoiswaitingin

heavenuntilGodsendshimtoearthtobringinhiskingdomandruleoverit.Sowhen

JesuscalledhimselftheSonofMan,hewasdoingnothinglessthancallhimselfthe

Messiah.Herewasaclaimsoclearthatitcouldnotbemisunderstood.

(ii)ButnotonlyisthisclaimtobeGod'sMessiahmadeinsomanywords;inphrase afterphraseitisimplicit.Theverymiraclewhichhadhappenedtotheparalysedman wasasignthatJesuswasMessiah.ItwasIsaiah'spictureofthenewageofGod

that"thenshallthelamemanleaplikeahart"(Isaiah35:6).ItwasJeremiah'svision

thattheblindandthelamewouldbegatheredin(Jeremiah31:8­9).

(iii)ThereisJesus'repeatedclaimtoraisethedeadandtobetheirjudgewhenthey areraised.IntheOldTestamentGodalonecanraisethedeadandalonehasthe righttojudge."I,evenI,amheandthereisnogodbesideme:IkillandImake

alive"(Deuteronomy32:39)."TheLordkillsandbringstolife"(1Samuel2:6).When

Naaman,theSyrian,cameseekingtobecuredfromleprosy,thekingofIsraelsaid

inbewildereddespair:"AmIGodtokillandtomakealive?"(2Kings5:6).The

functionofkillingandmakingalivebelongedinalienablytoGod.Itisthesamewith

judgment."ThejudgmentisGod's"(Deuteronomy1:17).

Inlaterthoughtthisfunctionofresurrectingthedeadandthenactingasjudge becamepartofthedutyofGod'schosenonewhenhebroughtinthenewageof God.EnochsaysoftheSonofMan:"Thesumofjudgmentwascommittedtohim"

(Enoch69:26­27).Jesusinourpassagespeaksofthosewhohavedonegoodbeing

resurrectedtolifeandofthosewhohavedoneevilbeingresurrectedtodeath.The ApocalypseofBaruchlaysitdownthatwhenGod'sagecomes:"Theaspectof thosewhonowactwickedlyshallbecomeworsethanitis,astheyshallsuffer torment,"whereasthosewhohavetrustedinthelawandacteduponitshallbe

clothedinbeautyandinsplendour(Baruch51:1­4).Enochhasitthatinthatday:

"Theearthshallbewhollyrentasunder,andallthatisonearthshallperish,and

thereshallbejudgmentonallmen"(Enoch1:5­7).TheTestamentofBenjaminhas

it:"Allmenshallrise,sometotheexalted,andsometobehumbledandputto

shame."

ForJesustospeaklikethiswasanactofthemostextraordinaryandunique

courage.Hemusthaveknownwellthattomakeclaimslikethiswouldsoundthe

sheerestblasphemytotheorthodoxJewishleadersandwastocourtdeath.Theman

wholistenedtowordslikethishadonlytwoalternatives­­hemusteitheraccept

JesusastheSonofGodorhatehimasablasphemer.

Wenowgoontotakethispassagesectionbysection.

TheFatherAndTheSon(John5:19­20)

5:19­20ThisisthetruthItellyou­­theSoncannotdoanything

whichproceedsfromhimself.Hecanonlydowhatheseesthe

Fatherdoing.InwhateverwaytheFatheracts,theSonlikewise

actsinthesameway;fortheFatherlovestheSon,andhas

shownhimeverythingthathedoes.Andhewillshowhim

greaterworksthanthese,sothatyouwillbemovedto

wonderingamazement.

ThisisthebeginningofJesus'answertotheJews'chargethathewasmaking

himselfequaltoGod.HelaysdownthreethingsabouthisrelationshipwithGod.

(i)HelaysdownhisidentitywithGod.ThesalienttruthaboutJesusisthatinhimwe

seeGod.IfwewishtoseehowGodfeelstomen,ifwewishtoseehowGodreacts

tosin,ifwewishtoseehowGodregardsthehumansituation,wemustlookat

Jesus.ThemindofJesusisthemindofGod;thewordsofJesusarethewordsof

God;theactionsofJesusaretheactionsofGod.

(ii)Thisidentityisnotsomuchbasedonequalityasoncompleteobedience.Jesus

neverdidwhathewantedtodobutalwayswhatGodwantedhimtodo.Itisbecause

hiswillwascompletelysubmittedtoGod'swillthatweseeGodinhim.Jesusisto

GodaswemustbetoJesus.

(iii)Thisobedienceisnotbasedonsubmissiontopower;itisbasedonlove.The

unitybetweenJesusandGodisaunityoflove.Wespeakoftwomindshavingonly

asinglethoughtandtwoheartsbeatingasone.Inhumantermsthatisaperfect

descriptionoftherelationshipbetweenJesusandGod.Thereissuchcomplete

identityofmindandwillandheartthatFatherandSonareone.

ButthispassagehassomethingstillmoretotellusaboutJesus.

(i)Ittellsusofhiscompleteconfidence.Heisquitesurethatwhatmenwereseeing

thenwasonlyabeginning.OnpurelyhumangroundstheonethingJesusmight

reasonablyexpectwasdeath.TheforcesofJewishorthodoxyweregatheringagainst

himandtheendwasalreadysure.ButJesuswasquitecertainthatthefuturewasin

thehandsofGodandthatmencouldnotstopwhatGodhadsenthimtodo.

(ii)Ittellsofhiscompletefearlessness.Thathewouldbemisunderstoodwas

certain.Thathiswordswouldinflamethemindsofhishearersandendangerhisown

lifewasbeyondargument.TherewasnohumansituationinwhichJesuswouldlower

hisclaimsoradulteratethetruth.Hewouldmakehisclaimandspeakhistruthno

matterwhatmenmightthreatentodo.Tohimitwasmuchmoreimportanttobetrue

toGodthantofearmen.

Life,JudgmentAndHonour(John5:21­23)

5:21­23ForastheFatherraisesthedeadandmakesthem

alive,sotheSonalsomakesalivethosewhomhewishes.

NeitherdoestheFatherjudgeanyone,buthehasgiventhe

wholeprocessofjudgingtotheSon,thatallmayhonourthe

Son,astheyhonourtheFather.Hewhodoesnothonourthe

SondoesnothonourtheFatherwhosenthim.

HereweseethreegreatfunctionswhichbelongtoJesusChristastheSonofGod.

(i)Heisthegiveroflife.Johnmeantthisinadoublesense.Hemeantitintime.No

manisfullyaliveuntilJesusChristentersintohimandheentersintoJesusChrist.

Whenwemakethediscoveryoftherealmofmusicorofliteratureorofartorof

travel,wesometimesspeakofanewworldopeningouttous.Thatmanintowhose

lifeJesusChristhasenteredfindslifemadenew.Hehimselfischanged;his

personalrelationshipsarechanged;hisconceptionofworkanddutyandpleasureis

changed;hisrelationshiptoGodischanged.Hemeantitineternity.Afterthislifeis

ended,forthemanwhohasacceptedJesusChristthereopenslifestillmorefunand

stillmorewonderful;whileforthemanwhohasrefusedJesusChrist,therecomes

thatdeathwhichisseparationfromGod.JesusChristgiveslifebothinthisworld

andtheworldtocome.

(ii)Heisthebringerofjudgment.JohnsaysthatGodcommittedthewholeprocess

ofjudgmenttoJesusChrist.Whathemeansisthis­­aman'sjudgmentdependson

hisreactiontoJesus.IfhefindsinJesustheonepersontobelovedandfollowed,

heisonthewaytolife.IfheseesinJesusanenemy,hehascondemnedhimself.

Jesusisthetouchstonebywhichallmenaretested;reactiontohimisthetestby

whichallmenaredivided.

(iii)Heisthereceiverofhonour.ThemostupliftingthingabouttheNewTestamentis

itsunquenchablehopeanditsunconquerablecertainty.Ittellsthestoryofacrucified

Christandyetneverhasanydoubtthatattheendallmenwillbedrawntothat

crucifiedfigureandthatallmenwillknowhimandacknowledgehimandlovehim.

Amidpersecutionanddisregard,inspiteofsmallnessofnumbersandpovertyof

influence,inthefaceoffailureanddisloyalty,theNewTestamentandtheearly

churchneverdoubtedtheultimatetriumphofChrist.Whenwearetemptedtodespair

wewoulddowelltorememberthatthesalvationofmenisthepurposeofGodand

thatnothing,intheend,canfrustratehiswill.TheevilwillofmanmaydelayGod's

purpose;itcannotdefeatit.

AcceptanceMeansLife(John5:24)

5:24ThisisthetruthItellyou­­hewholistenstomywordand

believesonhimwhosentmehaseternallife,andisnotonthe

waytojudgment,buthehascrossedfromdeathtolife.

Jesussaysquitesimplythattoaccepthimislife;andtorejecthimisdeath.What

doesitmeantolistentoJesus'wordandtobelieveintheFatherwhosenthim?To

putitatitsbriefestitmeansthreethings.(i)ItmeanstobelievethatGodisas

Jesussaysheis;thatheislove;andsotoenterintoanewrelationshipwithhimin

whichfearisbanished.(ii)ItmeanstoacceptthewayoflifethatJesusoffersus,

howeverdifficultitmaybeandwhateversacrificesitmayinvolve,certainthatto

acceptitistheultimatewaytopeaceandtohappiness,andtorefuseittheultimate

waytodeathandjudgment.(iii)ItmeanstoacceptthehelpthattheRisenChrist

givesandtheguidancethattheHolySpiritoffers,andsotofindstrengthforallthat

thewayofChristinvolves.

Whenwedothatweenterintothreenewrelationships.(i)Weenterintoanew

relationshipwithGod.Thejudgebecomesthefather;thedistantbecomesthenear;

strangenessbecomesintimacyandfearbecomeslove.(ii)Weenterintoanew

relationshipwithourfellowmen.Hatredbecomeslove;selfishnessbecomesservice;

andbitternessbecomesforgiveness.(iii)Weenterintoanewrelationshipwith

ourselves.Weaknessbecomesstrength;frustrationbecomesachievement;and

tensionbecomespeace.

ToaccepttheofferofJesusChrististofindlife.Everyoneinonesensemaybesaid

tobealive;buttherearefewwhocanbesaidtoknowlifeintherealsenseofthe

term.WhenGrenfellwaswritingtoanursingsisteraboutherdecisiontocomeoutto

Labradortohelpinhisworkthere,hetoldherthathecouldnotofferhermuch

money,butthatifshecameshewoulddiscoverthatinservingChristandthepeople

ofthecountryshewouldhavethetimeofherlife.Browningdescribesthemeetingof

twopeopleintowhoseheartslovehadentered.Shelookedathim,helookedather,

and"suddenlylifeawoke."Amodernnovelistmakesonecharactersaytoanother:"I

neverknewwhatlifewastillIsawitinyoureyes."

ThepersonwhoacceptsthewayofChristhaspassedfromdeathtolife.Inthis

worldlifebecomesnewandthrilling;intheworldtocomeeternallifewithGod

becomesacertainty.

DeathAndLife(John5:25­29)

5:25­29ThisisthetruthItellyou­­thehouriscomingandnowis

whenthedeadwillhearthevoiceoftheSonofGod,and,when

theyhaveheard,theywilllive.For,astheFatherhaslifein

himself,sohehasgiventotheSontohavelifeinhimself.And

hehasgivenhimauthoritytoexercisetheprocessofjudgment,

becauseheistheSonofMan.Donotbeastonishedatthis,for

thehouriscomingwheneveryoneinthetombswighearhis

voiceandwillcomeforth;thosewhohavedonegoodwillcome

outtoaresurrectionwhichwildgivethemlife,butthosewhose

actionswerebasewillcomeouttoaresurrectionwhichwill

issueinjudgment.

HeretheMessianicclaimsofJesusstandoutmostclearly.HeistheSonofMan;

heisthelife­giverandthelife­bringer;hewigraisethedeadtolifeand,whenthey

areraised,hewillbetheirjudge.

InthispassageJohnseemstousetheworddeadintwosenses.

(i)Heusesitofthosewhoarespirituallydead;tothemJesuswillbringnewlife.

Whatdoesitmean?

(a)Tobespirituallydeadistohavestoppedtrying.Itistohavecometolookonall

faultsasineradicableandallvirtuesasunattainable.ButtheChristianlifecannot

standstill;itmusteithergoonorslipback;andtostoptryingisthereforetoslip

backtodeath.

(b)Tobespirituallydeadistohavestoppedfeeling.Therearemanypeoplewhoat

onetimefeltintenselyinfaceofthesinandthesorrowandthesufferingofthe

world;butslowlytheyhavebecomeinsensitive.Theycanlookatevilandfeelno

indignation;theycanlookatsorrowandsufferingandfeelnoansweringswordof

griefandpitypiercetheirheart.Whencompassiongoestheheartisdead.

(c)Tobespirituallydeadistohavestoppedthinking.J.AlexanderFindlaytellsofa

sayingofafriendofhis­­"Whenyoureachaconclusionyou'redead."Hemeantthat

whenaman'smindbecomessoshutthatitcanacceptnonewtruth,heismentally

andspirituallydead.Thedaywhenthedesiretolearnleavesus,thedaywhennew

truth,newmethods,newthoughtbecomesimplyadisturbancewithwhichwecannot

bebothered,isthedayofourspiritualdeath.

(d)Tobespirituallydeadistohavestoppedreprinting.Thedaywhenamancansin

inpeaceisthedayofhisspiritualdeath;anditiseasytoslipintothatframeof

mind.Thefirsttimewedoawrongthing,wedoitwithfearandregret.Ifwedoita

secondtime,itiseasiertodoit.Ifwedoitathirdtime,itiseasieryet.Ifwegoon

doingit,thetimecomeswhenwescarcelygiveitathought.Toavoidspiritualdeath

amanmustkeephimselfsensitivetosinbykeepinghimselfsensitivetothe

presenceofJesusChrist.

(ii)Johnalsousestheworddeadliterally.Jesusteachesthattheresurrectionwill

comeandthatwhathappenstoamanintheafter­lifeisinextricablyboundupwith

whathehasdoneinthislife.Theawfulimportanceofthislifeisthatitdetermines

eternity.Allthroughitwearefittingorunfittingourselvesforthelifetocome,making

ourselvesfitorunfitforthepresenceofGod.Wechooseeitherthewaywhichleads

tolifeorthewaywhichleadstodeath.

THEONLYTRUEJUDGMENT(John5:30)

5:30Icannotdoanythingwhichoriginatesinmyself.AsIhear,

soIjudge.ButthejudgmentwhichIexerciseisjust,becauseI

donotseektodowhatIwishtodo,butIseektodowhathe

whosentmewishestodo.

IntheprecedingpassageJesushasclaimedtherightofjudgment.Itwasnot

unnaturalthatmenshouldaskbywhatrightheproposedtojudgeothers.Hisanswer

wasthathisjudgmentwastrueandfinalbecausehehadnodesiretodoanything

otherthanthewillofGod.HisclaimwasthathisjudgmentwasthejudgmentofGod.

Itisverydifficultforanymantojudgeanothermanfairly.Ifwewillhonestlyexamine

ourselveswewillseethatmanymotivesmayaffectourjudgment.Itmaybe

renderedunfairbyinjuredpride.Itmayberenderedblindbyourprejudices.Itmaybe

madebitterbyjealousy.Itmaybemadearrogantbycontempt.Itmaybemade

harshbyintolerance.Itmaybemadecondemnatorybyself­righteousness.Itmaybe

affectedbyourownself­conceit.Itmaybebasedonenvy.Itmaybevitiatedbyan

insensitiveordeliberateignorance.Onlyamanwhoseheartispureandwhose

motivesarecompletelyunmixedcanrightlyjudgeanotherman­­whichmeanstosay

thatnomancan.

OntheotherhandthejudgmentofGodisperfect.

Godaloneisholyandthereforehealoneknowsthestandardsbywhichallmenmust

bejudged.Godaloneisperfectlylovingandhisjudgmentaloneisdeliveredinthe

charityinwhichalltruejudgmentmustbegiven.Godalonehasfullknowledgeand

judgmentcanbeperfectonlywhenittakesintoaccountallthecircumstances.The

claimofJesustojudgeisbasedontheclaimthatinhimistheperfectmindofGod.

Hedoesnotjudgewiththeinevitablemixtureofhumanmotives;hejudgeswiththe

perfectholiness,theperfectloveandtheperfectsympathyofGod.

WITNESSTOCHRIST(John5:31­36)

5:31­36IfIbearwitnessaboutmyself,mywitnessneednotbe

acceptedastrue;butitisAnotherwhoisbearingwitnessabout

me,andIknowthatthewitnesswhichhebearsaboutmeis

true.YousentyourenvoystoJohn,andheborewitnesstothe

truth;butthetestimonywhichIreceiveisnotfromanyman,but

Isaythesethingsthatyoumaybesaved.Hewasthelamp

whichburnsandshines.Foratimeyouwerepleasedtotake

pleasureinhislight.ButIhaveagreatertestimonythanJohn's.

TheworkswhichtheFathergrantedtometoaccomplish,the

veryworkswhichIdo,areevidenceaboutmetoprovethatmy

Fatherhassentme.

OnceagainJesusisansweringthechargesofhisopponents.Hisopponentsare

demanding."Whatevidencecanyouadducethatyourclaimsaretrue?"Jesus

arguesinawaythattheRabbiswouldunderstandforheusestheirownmethods.

(i)Hebeginsbyadmittingtheuniversalprinciplethattheunsupportedevidenceof onepersoncannotbetakenasproof.Theremustbeatleasttwowitnesses."Onthe evidenceoftwowitnessesorofthreewitnesseshethatistodieshallbeputto death;apersonshallnotbeputtodeathontheevidenceofonewitness"

(Deuteronomy17:6)."Asinglewitnessshallnotprevailagainstamanforanycrime

orforanywronginconnectionwithanyoffencethathehascommitted;onlyonthe evidenceoftwowitnesses,orofthreewitnesses,shallachargebesustained"

(Deuteronomy19:15).WhenPaulthreatenstocometotheCorinthianswithrebuke

anddisciplinehesaysthatallhischargeswillbeconfirmedbytwoorthree

witnesses(2Corinthians13:1).JesussaysthatwhenaChristianhasalegitimate

complaintagainstabrotherhemusttakewithhimsomeotherstoconfirmthecharge

(Matthew18:16).Intheearlychurchitwastherulethatnochargeagainstanelder

wasentertainedunlessitwassupportedbytwoorthreewitnesses(1Timothy5:19).

JesusbeganbyfullyadmittingthenormalJewishlawofevidence.

Further,itwasuniversallyheldthataman'sevidenceabouthimselfcouldnotbe

accepted.TheMishnahsaid:"Amanisnotworthyofbeliefwhenheisspeaking

abouthimself."Demosthenes,thegreatGreekorator,laiditdownasaprincipleof

justice:"Thelawsdonotallowamantogiveevidenceonhisownbehalf."Ancient

lawwellknewthatself­interesthadaneffectonaman'sstatementsabouthimself.

SoJesusagreesthathisownunsupportedtestimonytohimselfneednotbetrue.

(ii)Butthereareotherwitnessestohim.Hesaysthat"Another"ishiswitness, meaningGod.Hewillreturntothat,butforthemomenthecitesJohntheBaptist

whohadrepeatedlybornewitnesstohim(John1:19­20;John1:26;John1:29;John

1:35­36).ThenJesuspaysatributetoJohnandissuesarebuketotheJewish

authorities.

HesaysthatJohnwasthelampwhichburnsandshines.Thatwastheperfect

tributetohim.(a)Alampbearsaborrowedlight.Itdoesnotlightitself;itislit.(b)

Johnhadwarmth,forhiswasnotthecoldmessageoftheintellectbuttheburning

messageofthekindledheart.(c)Johnhadlight.Thefunctionoflightistoguide,and

JohnpointedmenonthewaytorepentanceandtoGod.(d)Inthenatureofthingsa

lampburnsitselfout;ingivinglightitconsumesitself.Johnwastodecreasewhile

Jesusincreased.ThetruewitnessburnshimselfoutforGod.

InpayingtributetoJohn,JesusrebukestheJews.Theywerepleasedtotake

pleasureinJohnforatime,buttheyneverreallytookhimseriously.Theywere,as

onehasputit,like"gnatsdancinginthesunlight,"orlikechildrenplayingwhilethe

sunshone.Johnwasapleasantsensation,tobelistenedtoaslongashesaidthe

thingstheyliked,andtobeabandonedwheneverhebecameawkward.Manypeople

listentoGod'struthlikethat;theyenjoyasermonasaperformance.Afamous

preachertellshowafterhehadpreachedasombersermononjudgment,hewas

greetedwiththecomment:"Thatsermonwassurecute!"God'struthisnotathing

bywhichtobepleasantlytitillated;itisoftensomethingtobereceivedinthedust

andashesofhumiliationandrepentance.

ButJesusdoesnotevenpleadJohn'sevidence.Hesaysitisnotthehuman

evidenceofanyfalliblemanheisgoingtoadducetosupporthisclaims.

(iii)Soheadducesthewitnessofhisworks.HehaddonethatwhenJohnsentfrom prisontoaskifhewastheMessiah.HehadtoldJohn'senquiringenvoystogoback

andtellhimwhattheysawhappening(Matthew11:4;Luke7:22).ButJesusciteshis

works,nottopointtohimselfbuttopointtothepowerofGodworkinginhimand

throughhim.HissupremewitnessisGod.

THEWITNESSOFGOD(John5:37­43)

5:37­43AndtheFatherwhosentmehashomewitnessabout

me.Youhaveneverheardhisvoice,norhaveyoueverseen

hisform.Youdonothavehisworddwellinginyou,becauseyou

donotbelieveintheOnewhomhesent.Yousearchthe

scriptures,becauseyouthinkthatinthemyouhaveeternallife.

Itistheywhichbearwitnessaboutme,yetyourefusetocome

tomethatyoumayhavelife.Ireceivenogloryfrommen;butI

knowyouandIknowthatyoudonothavetheloveofGodin

you.IcameinthenameofmyFatherandyetyoudonot

receiveme.Ifanothercomesinhisownname,youwillreceive

him.

Theearlypartofthissectionmaybetakenintwoways.

(i)ItmaybethatitreferstotheunseenwitnessofGodinaman'sheart.Inhisfirst letterJohnwrites:"HewhobelievesintheSonofGod,hasthetestimony(ofGod)in

himself"(1John5:9­10).TheJewwouldhaveinsistedthatnomancaneversee

God.EveninthegivingoftheTenCommandments"youheardthesoundofwords,

butsawnoform;therewasonlyavoice"(Deuteronomy4:12).Sothismaymean:"It

istruethatGodisinvisible;andsoishiswitness,foritistheresponsewhichrises

inthehumanheartwhenamanisconfrontedwithme."Whenweareconfrontedwith

Christweseeinhimthealtogetherlovelyandthealtogetherwise;thatconvictionis

thewitnessofGodinourhearts.TheStoicsheldthatthehighestkindofknowledge

comesnotbythoughtbutbywhattheycalled"arrestingimpressions;"aconviction

seizesamanlikesomeonelayinganarrestinghandonhisshoulder.Itmaybethat

Jesusheremeansthattheconvictioninourheartsofhissupremacyisthewitness

ofGodwithin.

(ii)ItmaybethatJohnisreallymeaningthatGod'switnesstoChrististobefound inthescriptures.TotheJewthescriptureswereallinall."Hewhohasacquiredthe wordsofthelawhasacquiredeternallife.""HewhohastheLawhasacordofgrace drawnaroundhiminthisworldandintheworldtocome.""HewhosaysthatMoses wroteevenoneverseoftheLawinhisownknowledgeisadespiserofGod.""Thisis thebookofthecommandmentsofGodandtheLawthatendurethforever.Allthey

thatholditfastareappointedtolife,butsuchasleaveitshalldie"(Baruch4:1­2)."If

foodwhichisyourlifebutforanhour,requiresablessingbeforeandafteritbe

eaten,howmuchmoredoestheLaw,inwhichliestheworldthatistobe,requirea

blessing?"TheJewsearchedtheLawandyetfadedtorecognizeChristwhenhe

came.Whatwaswrong?ThebestBiblestudentsintheworld,peoplewho

meticulouslyandcontinuouslyreadscripture,rejectedJesus.Howcouldthat

happen?

Onethingisclear­­theyreadscriptureinthewrongway.

(i)Theyreaditwithashutmind.TheyreaditnottosearchforGodbuttofind

argumentstosupporttheirownpositions.TheydidnotreallyloveGod;theyloved

theirownideasabouthim.Waterhasasmuchchanceofgettingintoconcreteasthe

wordofGodhadofgettingintotheirminds.Theydidnothumblylearnatheology

fromscripture;theyusedscripturetodefendatheologywhichtheythemselveshad

produced.ThereisstilldangerthatweshouldusetheBibletoproveourbeliefsand

nottotestthem.

(ii)Theymadeastillbiggermistake­­theyregardedGodashavinggivenmena

writtenrevelation.TherevelationofGodisarevelationinhistory.ItisnotGod

speaking,butGodacting.TheBibleitselfisnothisrevelation;itistherecordofhis

revelation.ButtheyworshippedtheBible'swords.

ThereisonlyoneproperwaytoreadtheBible­­toreaditasallpointingtoJesus

Christ.Thenmanyofthethingswhichpuzzleus,andsometimesdistressus,are

clearlyseenasstagesontheway,apointingforwardtoJesusChrist,whoisthe

supremerevelationandbywhoselightallotherrevelationistobetested.TheJews

worshippedaGodwhowroteratherthanaGodwhoactedandthereforewhenChrist

cametheydidnotrecognizehim.Thefunctionofthescripturesisnottogivelife,but

topointtohimwhocan.

Therearetwomostrevealingthingshere.

(i)InJohn5:34Jesushadsaidthepurposeofhiswordswas"thatyoumaybe

saved."Herehesays:"Iamnotlookingforanygloryfromman."Thatistosay:"I

amnotarguinglikethisbecauseIwanttowinanargument.Iamnottalkinglikethis

becauseIwanttoscoreoffyouandwintheapplauseofmen.ItisbecauseIlove

youandwanttosaveyou."

Thereissomethingtremendoushere.Whenpeopleopposeusandweargueback,

whatisourmainfeeling?Woundedpride?Theconceitthathatesanykindoffailure?

Annoyance?Adesiretocramouropinionsdownotherpeople'sthroatsbecausewe

thinkthemfools?Jesustalkedashedidonlybecausehelovedmen.Hisvoice

mightbestern,butinthesternnesstherewasstilltheaccentofyearninglove;his

eyesmightflashfire,buttheflamewastheflameOflove.

(ii)Jesussays:"ifanothercomesinhisownname,himyouwillreceive."TheJews hadtheirsuccessionofimpostorsclaimingtobetheMessiahandeveryonehadhis

following(compareMark13:6;Mark13:22;Matthew24:5;Matthew24:24).Whydo

menfollowimpostors?Becausetheyare"menwhoseclaimscorrespondwithmen's

owndesires."Theimpostorscamepromisingempiresandvictoryandmaterial

prosperity;JesuscameofferingaCross.Thecharacteristicoftheimpostoristhe

offeroftheeasyway;JesusofferedmenthehardwayofGod.Theimpostors

perishedandChristliveson.

THEULTIMATECONDEMNATION(John5:44­47)

5:44­47Howcanyoubelievewhenyouareoutfortheglorythat

yougetfromeachother,andwhenyoudonotsearchforthe

glorywhichcomesfromtheonlyGod?DonotthinkthatitisI

whowillaccuseyoutotheFather.Youhaveanaccuser­­itis

MosesImean­­onwhomyousetyourhopes.Ifyouhad

believedinMoses,youwouldhavebelievedinme,forhewrote

aboutme.Ifyoudonotbelieveinhiswritings,howwillyou

believeinmywords?

ThescribesandPhariseesdesiredthepraiseofmen.Theydressedinsuchaway

thateveryonewouldrecognizethem.Theyprayedinsuchawaythateveryonewould

see.TheylovedthefrontseatsintheSynagogue.Theylovedthedeferential

greetingsofmenonthestreet.Andjustbecauseofthattheycouldnothearthe

voiceofGod.Why?Solongasamanmeasureshimselfagainsthisfellowmenhe

willbewellcontent.Butthepointisnot:"AmIasgoodasmyneighbour?"Thepoint

is:"AmIasgoodasGod?""WhatdoIlookliketohim?"Solongaswejudge

ourselvesbyhumancomparisonsthereisplentyofroomforself­satisfaction,and

thatkillsfaith,forfaithisbornofthesenseofneed.Butwhenwecompareourselves

withJesusChrist,wearehumbledtothedust,andthenfaithisborn,forthereis

nothinglefttodobuttrusttothemercyofGod.

Jesusfinisheswithachargethatwouldstrikehome.TheJewsbelievedthebooks

whichtheybelievedMoseshadgiventhemtobetheverywordofGod.Jesussaid:

"Ifyouhadreadthesebooksaright,youwouldhaveseenthattheyallpointedto

me."Hewenton:"YouthinkthatbecauseyouhaveMosestobeyourmediatoryou

aresafe;butMosesistheveryonewhowillcondemnyou.Maybeyoucouldnotbe

expectedtolistentome,butyouareboundtolistentothewordsofMosestowhich

youattachsuchvalueandtheyallspokeofme."

Hereisthegreatandthreateningtruth.Whathadbeenthegreatestprivilegeofthe

Jewshadbecometheirgreatestcondemnation.Noonecouldcondemnamanwho

hadneverhadachance.ButknowledgehadbeengiventotheJews;andthe

knowledgetheyhadfailedtousehadbecometheircondemnation.Responsibilityis

alwaystheothersideofprivilege.

­Barclay'sDailyStudyBible(NT)

CopyrightStatement

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BibliographyInformation

Barclay,William."Commentaryonjohn5"."WilliamBarclay'sDailyStudyBible".

"http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/print.cgi?bk=42&ch=5&vs=1".1956­

1959.

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